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The Contender
Con (against)
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Can Intelligent Design Ever Be Able to Prove God?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/26/2015 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 370 times Debate No: 75782
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (5)
Votes (1)




This debate will operate on a very critical ASSUMPTION. During the debate, it is NOT allowed to argue that the assumption is wrong.

The intelligent design argument of God's existance has two layers to it. First, the scientific numbers that are the basis for the argument. The statistical significance of these numbers are usually a matter of debate. Some scientists argue for it and use examples like the fine-tuning of the physical forces and the probabilities of living cells emerging from random molecular interactions (Biology from Chemistry), while other scientists believe that these so called miracles are just eventual after given a long enough time (billions of years).

The second layer to the argument is the philosophical implications to these numbers given they are statistically significant. This is the area in which I would like to conduct the debate. The debate will be mostly philosophical operating on fixed scientific numbers.

And so without further ado, here is my big assumption:

The probability of Life emerging from random molecular interactions has been proven to be infinitesimal, given the age of the universe and the knowledge we have on the physics of the microscopic world. For the sake of this debate, we'll assume a probability of 1 in trillion trillion.

Now what I would like to conclude from this assumption, as pro, is not very far off. I don't want to conclude that there is a God with certain attributes. That is unscientific. However, what I would like to do is just to deduce that an intelligent being was responsible for the first cell. This intelligent being could be God or could be aliens. I don't care. All I care about is whether an intelligence of some form was responsible or not.

Philosophically speaking and from an epstimological stand point, nothing can be proven to be 100% true. My assumption only tries to get closer to zero as a probability, but it could never reach zero. I'm trying to show that I am aware of that. So please, if you are taking on this debate, appreciate this too. Be aware that I'm not trying to prove the existence of the intelligent being at a 100% certainty. I only say that the idea of an existing intelligent being responsible for our existence is only very very very likely to be true (Let's say at a 99.999% certainty), given the ASSUMPTION. Therefore, if I call myself a believer, I would have only made a 0.0001% leap of faith. To me, that doesn't sound crazy at all, does it?

Honestly I don't have a clear structure for the debate in mind, so I'll limit it to 4 rounds to be safe and we will just freestyle it as we go through. So if you want to be con, all you have to do to start the debate is to find a flaw in my reasoning and discuss it. But please try to have a little chat with me in the comments before you accept the debate to find out if you're the right guy for the debate (not in terms of qualifications, but in terms of where you stand on the issue). I don't want to debate someone who agrees with me essentially but disagrees in the way I describe things (labels).

Looking forward to it :)


Just a preface to my main points on this. You ask in the debate title: 'Can Intelligent Design Ever Be Able to Prove God?' Yet you go on to say: 'This intelligent being could be God or could be aliens. I don't care.' - I suggest clearing this up in your next point.

I will start by saying that I accept your assumption for the purposes of this debate.

Now I would like to address my main point on this topic.

If the universe was designed by an intelligent creator, then why was it designed so badly?

I would like to extract some main points that I am trying to make by asking this question.

Firstly, Intelligent Design (which I will refer to as ID for the rest of this debate) would suggest that this was all thought of. Everything in the universe that has happened, is happening or will happen, whether it be life, formation of galaxies and solar systems or everything in between is designed to be that way. I would like to argue that looking at the evidence of what has happened and what will most likely happen, then the universe can't possibly of been designed, at least not intelligently.

My first example of this is the Andromeda - Milky Way Collison[1]. The collision is estimated to take place in around 4 Billion years. If the universe was designed as it is, then why would someone design it in such a way that the universe would grow to contain life and yet ensure that one of those planets that does contain said life would be scattered to oblivion by the collision of two galaxies. (it is improbable that individual celestial bodies will collide, but the combination of both galaxies will cause several issues, such as the compression of gas in the atmospheres of planets and the scattering of solar systems and celestial bodies).

My second example is the 'knife edge' analogy of the universe. If the universe was designed intelligently to contain life and for that life to thrive, then why does it have to be the case that one tiny error during the creation of the universe would cause the objective of the creation to fail. Let's have an example. I give you a task of riding a bike across a chasm. You are imparted with all the knowledge, materials and tools required to build a bridge to get you across. Do you build yourself a bridge that is the same width of your bike tyre, just enough to get you across, as long as you don't make a mistake. Or, do you do the seemingly intelligent thing; giving yourself plently of room for error. Make sure that you are safe when getting across.

It seems silly to think that people claim ID by citing statisitics that show that if something was slightly different then we wouldn't be here. Surely if the universe was designed intelligently then wouldn't it be the case that those statistics would show room for error. The 'design' of the universe and life itself is flawed in so many ways that, in my eyes, it can't possibly of been done at all, less so in an intelligent manner.


I would like to end my first round argument by saying thank you to my opponent for posting this debate, it should be fun.
Debate Round No. 1


First, I would like to thank Andrew556 for accepting the debate. I'm sure it will be fun.

Andrew, I'm sorry if I wasn't clear about my terms for the debate. The title is just a title. Don't scratch your head too hard on it. You should focus only on my argument, and so yes I don't care if it's God or something else responsible for the design. All I care about is to arrive at the conclusion that an intelligent being was responsible. Also, it seems that I didn't make the assumption very clear. The purpose of the assumption was to have ID as a given thing. You are supposed to take it as it is and not argue about the design being bad. Bad design essentially means no design. My assumption was that there is design and that that design is astonishingly great. I only tried to quantize the great design by giving the slim probability of 1 in trillion trillion in a very specific example (Biology from Chemistry).

I have to say I was a bit disappointed because the first round was wasted in a path I delibrately shut the door for. Your question does not acknowledge my assumption. My assumption was to acknowledge good ID and your question wants to reassess the validity of ID. It is a valid question of course, but not a valid question in this debate which has certain rules. Don't get me wrong. I would love to discuss this in another debate. I'm not trying to run away from it.

I would have loved that you work on refuting my specific example instead of bringing your own example that was easy for you to refute. Besides, you only were able to mention the milky way example after you have broadened my claim for ID. You defined ID by saying:"Everything in the universe that has happened, is happening or will happen, whether it be life, formation of galaxies and solar systems or everything in between is designed to be that way". This is a big stretch. Some theologians might agree with this definition, but I don't. So please don't stick this on me. I would appreciate it if you would just focus on my example. You know why? Because if you want to make the case for God from Intelligent Design, then all you need is one solid example. Even if you make the case for thousands of bad designs other than that one solid example, it won't be enough to refute the argument. imagine we walk into a room and we find a half eaten apple on the table. Then I say: Oh look at the teeth marks on the apple. Someone must have bitten into it. Then you say: No! if a human was here he would have wiped the dust off this table, turned on the tv, organized the living room, did the laundry and and and... Then I would say: It doesn't matter that he didn't do all that other stuff. All what matters is that: ONE thing was done, and that sufficiently proves that someone was here.

The knife edge example strikes an interesting debate. I have a response to it, but I will save it till after we finish our main point. So here's what I want you to do. I will briefly recap my ID argument using the specific example and you will have to point out my flaws in reasoning:

- The probability of a living cell emerging from natural and random molecular interactions is calculated to be 1 in trillion trillion or 1/1000000000000000000000000. (This is the assumption that cannont be discussed)

- Given the above number, we conclude that some form of intelligence is highly likely (at least 99.999% certainty) to have been responsible for the creation of the cell.

I'll keep it very simple at that. Please tell me what's wrong in my reasoning and don't tell me I'm wrong in calculating that very small probability. I know I'm making an assumption here. If you think my reasoning is fine and that it all comes down to the validity of the numbers, then you agree with me and you are not the one I intended to debate. In that case, I really wished you have spoken to me in the comments before you accepted the challenge.

Thank you


Thank you for your argument Moze.

So to adress the first statement you made in that argument;

Firstly, it wasn't very clear at all. From what I understood the assumption to be was that we were assuming that 'The probability of Life emerging from random molecular interactions' was 'a probability of 1 in trillion trillion'. The assumption did not state that we are both assuming a designer. If that WAS what you intended the assumption to be going in to the argument then we are at a loss as the assumption that you clearly defined as: 'here is my big assumption:' did not at any point mention the fact that the universe was created. I was under the impression that what we are debating here is: 'Can Intelligent Design prove a creator under the assumption that the chance for life coming from 'random molecular interaction' is a probability of 1 in trillion trillion.

I don't believe the assumption was made very clear so I will end this round of arguments here as I feel that there would be little point in continuing seeing as I don't agree with the assumption. My apologies Moze. Maybe a repost of the debate would be beter and you can get someone else who does agree with your assumption.

It is my opinion that ID is not a given.

In regards to the titel of the debate, you should deffinitely iron it out as to avoid confusions such as this. A title that starts 'Under the assumption that ID is a given...' would of been better.

Again, my apologies. Spectators please give this round and all others to the PRO side. Thank you.
Debate Round No. 2


Yes!! I am assuming an undeniable degree of Intelligent Design but at the same time, I'm not assuming a designer.

So philosophically speaking, is it rational to conclude that a designer is more likely to exist just by looking at the facts of good design?

I appreciate your apology and asking people to vote for me. For now, since we have to fill the rounds, lets talk about the knife edge example just for fun if you don't mind.

The bridge anology you mentioned is not accurate in describing the fine tuning situation. having a tolerable margin of error in this situation beats the purpose of the whole argument. Let me explain what I mean by that. The knife edge idea describes the great difficulty of achieving that level of fine tuning. The sharper the knife, the more difficult it is to achieve a balanced universe. And therefore, when we see that something very difficult was achieved, we conclude that the thing responsible for achieving that was very wise and intelligent. The better analogy to use is the following: Basketball!! If the basket is small and far away, I would be amazed by a player who is able to shoot the ball in the basket from one shot, and I would conclude that the player is very talented. But imagine if the basket is large and close. I wouldn't be amazed if my grandmother made that shot.

So if there is actually a tolerable margin of error, then athiests would simply say: There's nothing astonishing about this. If the forces were determined randomly, then they would have a high probability of falling into that sweet spot where everything is balanced because the sweet spot is wide.

Another reason why the bridge analogy is not accurate is because the physical constants don't change. They are tuned to fixed values. Unlike the car on a bridge that could change lanes simply by human error or by strong wind, the dials that tune the physical constants can only change if God were to accidentally move his elbow and tampers with them. Of course, that happening is absolutely absurd on many different levels.

I hope this gives you a clear view on the subject from my angle :)


Andrew556 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3


Thank you for your time


Andrew556 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by Outplayz 1 year ago
Thanks for the kind words @Andrew. I have never based my philosophy off of a religion. Actually, awhile back i came to the conclusion that religions are just hints to our power...but, there is many for the exact purpose to confuse us. My premise/conclusion in regards to my thoughts are: "Death is a creation of immortality." I look at it with an atheistic type of view. I came to be like this bc as an atheist i got bored of concentrating on the past when it came to spirituality. Always debating things i know to be wrong, and a little right at the same time. So, i started to really think about what the implications of an immortal intelligence would be. Once i started piecing these together, a lot of things made sense (so far in my own mind at least lol; that's why i am starting to debate it so i can make more sense of it). Idk if i can even call myself atheist anymore...Can i still call myself atheist if i am starting to believe in a form of dualism? lol So, to answer your points... i am not basing what i know from any religion, since it is my own philosophy. In a way, i am saying the "creator" is an entity but not the only one. I think everything may have started from one...kinda like a 'out of darkness came light' type of analogy. But i think this initial intelligence (took time to get to this point) started a chain reaction of millions of other sources...kinda hard to explain in short so i'll stop here...actually to get a better idea, if you want, i have a debate going on right now about this very thing on my debate page. It is called "immortality is a possibility" So i'll stop here. Thanks for your response. I am happy to see you took interest in what i said, and i look forward to speak to you more.
Posted by Andrew556 1 year ago

That's such a hard question to answer. I need to get some information from you first.

Firstly, what is the purpose of the universe? Are we discussing this from a theological (god based) perspective? Or are we just saying that the creator is a entity that has made the universe for an unknown purpose.

Good question.
Posted by Outplayz 1 year ago
My question to "Con" would be: Why would you think that (if this was designed) the design is flawed? I think this design is exactly how it was intended. If you think of an intelligent immortal, thinking about the implications of this type of being. Anyways, great points/debate so far. I like the respect bw you two and it will be nice to see what comes up in the subsequent rounds. Cheers!
Posted by KVDebates 1 year ago
4) That the universe is not fine tuned or well designed for life
Posted by KVDebates 1 year ago
I would argue on the basis of:
1) In a multiverse, this universe is bound to exist
2) Maybe these aren't the only life permitting parameters
3)it is very miniscule that any universe with any set of specific parameters exist, so the proposition is meaningless as it could be applied to any conceivable universe
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by dsjpk5 1 year ago
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Ff